Guess my 20 miler time: I ran 6.29 miles in the first hour + highest mileage week in a year.

This was not a set up for a good long run today:

  • I had a mid-back spasm in the first mile of my 5-miler yesterday morning that was still bothering me this morning. [Managed to fight for a 9’22” pace yesterday]
  • The first hour of the run didn’t break 9:30 pace, the second hour was still about 9:12 pace.
  • It poured rain for at least the hour of my run this morning, making my shoes incredibly heavy until the water mostly emptied after about 12 miles.
  • I was wrapping up my highest mileage week in a year–75 miles–after 70 miles last week.
  • I was wrapping up my highest mileage month ever [312 miles].
  • I had two gels for a 20-miler [I usually use at least 3, but I take 5]
  • My last two 20-milers together averaged well over 10 minutes per mile, but my target was sub-9 [under 3 hours for 20].

The results were considerably better than expected.  I stopped for a potty break before mile 10, but also had to fight through running on the side of Hurstbourne Parkway that didn’t have a sidewalk.  No, I didn’t run on the road; I ran in the un-mowed uneven weeds at were at times knee-high.

My first 6 miles were okay, but slower than I expected, at a 9:34 pace.

My second 6 miles were more respectable, at a 9:15 pace.

It was at the 2 hour mark that I decided:  I only had 7.2 miles to go, and 8:20 [7.2 mph] is a comfortable “cruising” pace for me. Therefore, I should be able to finish in 3 hours.  At that point, my mental will recovered from 4 months of not caring and leaving my legs with no support.  Not only did I hit three hours, but I also had sub-8 splits a couple of times in the last hour.

Negative 6-mile splits
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Finding the about screen in Word 2007

I had to dig to find this:

I used to be able to get the version number via the Help->About… functionality. Pretty standard Windows pattern.

I wanted to see if the pushed update of Office 2007 SP2 had been applied this morning, and eventually had to look it up.

It is now under the Office logo menu, which I expected. What I didn’t expect is that it’s buried under the Word Options selection at the bottom of that menu.

In the Word Options menu, go to the Resources tab/menu, and the last item in the right pane of that window is the standard “About” information.

How I studied for the Sun Certified Java Programmer [SCJP] 6 Exam

Including an inline review of two SCJP study guides.

Disclaimer: This is not a guide to passing the test with zero experience and no preparation. The SCJP exam will quickly expose lack of working knowledge. I have roughly 15 years of experience with programming in C and derivative languages, including about 1 year of Java 1.1 through 1.5 and about 2 years of experience with C++.


Note: Book links are paid Amazon associate links.

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

  • Took the “self test” questions at the end of every section of the SCJP 6 book. Got only 51% correct.
  • Hand wrote the answers or a fuller explanation of the answers for every question I got wrong.
  • Took the Programmer’s Guide mock exam. When I checked the answers, I noticed that the questions would say something like “select the 2 correct answers” and the answers would give 3 answers, or vice versa. Once I realized how bad the editing was on this book, I stopped using it.
  • Re-took the “self test” questions at the end of every section of the SCJP 6 book. Got only 88% correct. This time, I read through the answer explanations for the incorrect answers, and then re-read the “Two Minute Drill” sections for my two worst sections.

I believe that the SCJP 6 helped me because the format of the questions [choose all that apply] was ultimately harder than the format of the actual certification test questions. The Programmer’s Guide “mock test” format was closer to the actual test format, but I spent way too much time reconciling the test answers and test questions for it to be useful.

Other factors and more detail that you may not care about:

I had the opportunity through to take a class [June 7-June 11 2010] to become certified as a Sun Certified Java Programmer for Version 5. The book used in the class was [SCJP 5 study guide]. At the end of the class, we were presented with the option of registering for either the SCJP version 5 or SCJP version 6 exam by the end of June 2010. I took the risk that I could study the gaps between the Java 5 and Java 6 and pass the SCJP version 6 exam. Little did I realize that the studying effort would be a little more challenging than I first thought.

I had originally read through the Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer’s Notebook (Java 5,Version 1.5) when Java 1.5 was brand new [5 years ago]. Since then, I have done a small amount of maintenance programming, which got me familiar with a few of the advanced concepts. In addition, the concept of generics was familiar as C++ templates and I have my basic computer science engineering classes from 16 years ago as a foundation for it all.